The Complete Guide to Ring Resizing

Measuring ring size is pretty straightforward, but remember the importance of doing so accurately before you decide on the perfect ring. Resizing a ring is always an option too.

Two band style rings.

How Should a Ring Fit?

A ring should fit well – it should slide on easily but resist just enough when sliding off that there's no risk of falling off and possibly getting lost forever. An ill-fitting ring can become a costly mistake, and J.R.R. Tolkien literally wrote an entire book series about it. 

An excellent way to check the exact fit of a ring is to put it on. Then try to remove it if the ring slides onto your finger easily but needs a few seconds and a little wiggling to get it over the knuckle. It's probably a pretty good fit for you. A little resistance is a good thing with a ring.  

Related: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Jewelry 

However, if it cuts off circulation or gets completely stuck behind the knuckle when you try to take it off, that's not good either. If the ring then needs to be worked hard to remove, it's probably not the correct size. If your ring is too tight on your finger, it will need to be adjusted to a bigger size. On the other hand, if it continually slides off all the time. It's too loose, and you will need to adjust it to a smaller size.

Still not sure if your engagement ring is a good fit or not? Ask a jewelry professional. Jewelry professionals will be able to let you know if your ring fits well or if it needs to be resized.

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How Do Jewelers Resize a Ring?

Jewelers can use several methods to resize rings and choose the best way to adjust them according to the type of metal and setting. 

A man using a jeweler's tool for rings

The Process Explained

If the ring is too big, your jeweler will remove a small piece of the part that goes around the finger, known as the shank. Then, very carefully and precisely, the ring ends back together. The jeweler will then clean and polish your ring to remove any signs of alterations.

If your ring is too small, your jeweler will typically cut the bottom and add a small piece of metal to the shank. They might decide they will need to add more material to the ring to resize it. 

Furthermore, a stretching method of resizing rings is commonly used on more simple wedding bands without stones. Stretching has downsides because the process is delicate and might thin out the metal and distort its shape

Finally, sizing assistants can be used to resize a ring. Sizing assistants are usually fitted to important rings, like diamond-studded engagement rings that fit slightly too large and rotate on your finger. Sizing assistants are like tiny balls that sit inside the shank, keeping it firmly in place at the base of your finger. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Vitange Ring Settings

How Long Does it Take?

Resizing a ring can take up to a few weeks or even a month, depending on how complex the work is. It also depends on how busy your jeweler is and the time of year. The process can be much quicker for a more straightforward style of ring resizing. If you have a simple band without any precious gemstones, it might only take a little bit for your jeweler to stretch it to size.

How Much Does it Cost?

Usually, the jeweler whom you purchased your ring from will offer a resizing service free of charge. Some major jewelry chains will include free resizing as part of the ring's warranty. If you are getting your ring resized by another third-party jeweler or another expert, the service price will depend on the complexity of the job itself.

Just like every piece of jewelry is unique, so is every price to have that piece resized or cleaned. There is no set cost for getting your engagement ring resized. However, there are a few factors that can come into play:

a single diamond ring

Thickness of the Band

A thicker band ring might take more work than a thinner one, so the price can depend on the size and weight of the piece. 

Style of Ring

The cost of resizing a ring increases with the complexity and uniqueness in style. The more gemstones an individual has, the greater investment is needed for proper sizing without causing damage to any one particular stone or setting detail. 

Amount Resized

Resizing a ring gets complicated when it needs to be altered drastically, meaning you might need to pay more for more significant adjustments.

The Jeweler

Of course, the total cost of resizing is ultimately decided by what jeweler you choose and the services they provide. 

Can Any Ring Be Resized?

Almost all rings can be resized. However, rings with many gemstones on the band and little area left of exposed metal (such as an eternity band) can not be properly resized. This is why it's essential to know your ring size before buying a ring with this type of setting.

It's near impossible for a jeweler to resize what is referred to as a tension ring. Imagine a 2-carat sparkling diamond held in place by just pressure from the two ends of the ring. Often, this setting in rings needs to be customized and made to provide a perfect fit to the wearer before purchasing.

Related: Tension Settings: The Pros and Cons

There are some limits on how much a ring can be adjusted too. Typically, adjustments to a ring can be up to two sizes, smaller or larger. Any more than that can put the ring at risk of damage. Protecting the diamond (or other precious gemstones and metals) is the main priority during a resize.

Lastly, some materials are just too fragile or dense to resize safely. Tungsten rings are usually too hard to resize effectively, and stainless steel rings are also too hard to resize by just hand work alone. If you're considering buying a ring made from these types of metals, it's essential to ensure you have the correct ring measurements before checkout.

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